Islamabad - The Supreme Court Thursday directed health secretaries of all the provinces and the chief commissioner Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) to issue appointment letters and pay outstanding salaries to the Lady Health Workers.

A two-member bench, comprising Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and Justice Qazi Faez Esa, was hearing the Central Chairperson of Pakistan Health Worker Employees Association Bushra Arain application regarding non-payment of salaries and non-issuance of appointment letters to Lady Health Workers. There are 1,06,000 lady health workers all over the country.

The court order said the appointment letters should be dispatched to each LHW at residential address rather they have to visit the concerned offices for the sake of letters.

“The Attorney General shall ensure the letters are issued without the requirement of going to the (relevant) offices.  “There should be no harassment, illegal demands and gratification is made for the purpose of issuing the appointment letters rather the letters should be dispatched to the LHW residential addresses,” the order added. The court asked the LHWs if any official make illegal demands then file report against him.

The health secretaries of all the provinces and the Chief Commissioner of ICT ordered to file affidavits that the letters have been issued and all outstanding salaries have been paid to the LHWs.

Earlier, Bushra Arain informed the court that the LHWs of Islamabad had not been paid salaries since June and the administration had not issued the appointment letters. She told that when they go to the offices for appointment they ask for bribe and make illegal demands. The court noted that the LHWs performing various jobs from polio drops to other health facilities.

Attorney General Salman Butt, representing the ICT, assured that the LHWs in the federal capital would be paid salaries by Monday (Oct 27). He also assured that the functionaries would not make flippant statements.

Bushra Arain has prayed in her petition that a direction be issued to the respondents to frame a complete service structure of Department providing security and protection to the services of the employees of the Department and regularised the services of Lady Health Workers, supervisors and other employees.